Pregnancy & Childbirth

It is a common misconception that obstetricians and natural healthcare practitioners are mutually exclusive. Yet many women have found that their obstetrician often doesn’t have time to answer all of their questions. A natural healthcare practitioner can offer support, advice and treatment specific for your needs.

Many of IMI’s naturopathic physicians and other practitioners specialising in pregnancy care came from an integrative background. This means that they have a deeper understanding of the body, mind and energy, from a medical as well as a natural medicine perspective.

Our practitioners also draw on the wisdom of ancient healing traditions, renowned for supporting women during pregnancy for thousands of years. You can receive safe and effective treatment to support your body naturally whilst you continue to have regular checkups with your obstetrician. 

Our team includes licensed Naturopathic Physicians, Homeopaths, Clinical Nutritionists, Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners, Acupuncturists, Osteopaths, Integrated Manual Therapists, Chiropractic Doctors, Hypnobirthing Specialists and Psychologists.

Whether you are planning to conceive or already pregnant, our experienced team can support you physically, emotionally, energetically and mentally to help you prepare for an optimal pregnancy, birth and beyond: 

Planning to Get Pregnant?

If you are planning to conceive, or trying to boost your fertility, there are many modalities in natural medicine that can support you. This phase is an ideal time to consider a safe, naturopath-supervised clinical detoxification to minimize harmful toxins being passed on to your baby. We would also ensure that you are on a supplement programme that is specific for your needs. This will support an optional pregnancy for you and your little one.

During Pregnancy

Having a baby can be one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences life has to offer. On the other hand, pregnancy can bring with it all sorts of physical challenges and conflicting emotions during this transitional time.

Each trimester your body is going through physiological, hormonal and psychological changes. Fortunately there is a long history of pregnancy, and a lot of wisdom from ancient traditions has been applied and refined for thousands of years to support women through these natural changes.

Many of the modalities offered at IMI combine this natural wisdom and the science of modern medicine to offer effective support for common conditions such as:

  • Morning sickness
  • Heart burn
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Candida, including Thrush
  • Illness such as colds and flu
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Potential miscarriage

If possible we aim to first treat these conditions with safe, natural remedies. This is because when you are pregnant drugs can cross the placenta and affect the development of your baby. However, we also recognise that sometimes medications are needed. If so, we would work in conjunction with your medical treatment to minimise side effects and strengthen your system and immunity.

Preparing for Birth

When deciding on your birth plan, it is important to know what options are available to you. Although both private and public hospitals in Hong Kong provide excellent maternity care, there is more to your birth plan than where and how you choose to deliver your baby.

Whether you want a natural birth or a medically assisted (epidural) delivery, natural therapies can play a huge role in working with your body’s innate wisdom to prepare for childbirth.

Prior to labour, safe herbal medicines (Eastern and Western) can help improve the strength and tone of the uterus. Ideally you would be seeing an osteopath by this time as they would be paying close attention to the mobility of your baby and all of the structures around the uterus.

During labour, homeopathic remedies, acupuncture and osteopathy can help with the pain, dilation and speed up the delivery process naturally.

If you go past your due date, these modalities are also highly effective to induce labour. Mindfulness, breathing techniques and hypnobirthing can also help you to prepare for birth.

Turning a Breech Baby

When a baby is breech, instead of a head down position, the baby is poised to come out feet or buttocks first. This presents some hazards to baby and mum, and often a C-section is required. The combination of gentle, skilled osteopathy, acupuncture and moxibustion from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are examples of safe and highly effective treatments to help to turn a breech baby.

Postnatal Care

As you recover from birth and adapt to being a mum, again many physiological, hormonal and psychological changes are happening. For immediate post labour recovery, homeopathy can help with bruising, and modalities such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and osteopathy are renowned for postpartum support.

Osteopathy and other skilled manual therapies can help with relieving pain, increasing mobility and reducing scar tissue.

Newborns also benefit with gentle manual techniques that relieve retained birth stress, and support early physical and emotional development.

If there are signs of post-natal depression or anxiety, which can be quite common after birth, supplements, homeopathy and professional counselling can make a huge difference and provide relief and support during this precious time.

Unsure where to begin?

We appreciate that the wide range of natural healing modalities can be confusing. To guide you towards the most appropriate practitioners or treatments to suit your personal needs, you can book a free 20-minute session with our Integral Health Advisor.

Call 2523 7121 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book an appointment.

 

Articles and Resources

Folate vs. Folic Acid: What's the Difference?

Folate is the natural form of this nutrient found in foods. While folic acid is often considered to be a supplemental form of folate, there is an important distinction between these two different compounds, folic acid doesn’t always work and indeed for some it may even be harmful. Folate technically is called 5 MTHFR for Methyl-tetra-hydra-folate, and some supplement brands list this. Before and during pregnancy, IMI recommends 600-1000 mcg of folate as 5-MTHFR.

 

"Probiotics: The Friendly Bacteria for Mum & Baby" article featured in The Standard (April 2016)

Did you know that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract? For your baby, and also for you, the GI tract is the first line of defense. Research has shown evidence that probiotics can play a role in improving colic, allergies, eczema, diarrhea and other digestive issues in babies and young children.

 

"Natural, Gentle, and Effective Remedies for Pregnant Mums" article featured in The Standard (February 2016)

Homeopathy can be a very helpful complement to your obstetrician's and midwife's advice. Homeopathic remedies are made from naturally occurring materials, and are considered gentle, safe, yet very effective for both the pregnant mum and her unborn child. Homeopath Mina Weight talks about how homeopath treat common emotional and physical sickness during pregnancy.

 

"Are Natural Therapies Part of Your Birth Plan?" article featured in The Standard (October 2015)

When you decide on a birth plan, it is important to find out about your options. Each birth is unique, so don't be afraid to ask questions because you deserve the best care and support that fit your very own needs.

 

"Osteopathy for Pregnancy-related Pains" article featured in The Standard (August 2015)

Jodi Waugh, IMI's Osteopath, explains the relationship between old injuries and pain during pregnancy, and how osteopathy assessments and treatments can help ensure proper alignment and relieve pain.

 

PCOS Doesn’t Automatically Spell Infertility

Women with PCOS don’t ovulate regularly, resulting in irregular menstruation or amenorrhea (absence of period) and ovulation-related infertility. Many women who stumble upon this diagnosis, perhaps while investigating causes for infertility, are disheartened. But PCOS doesn’t automatically spell infertility!

 

Estrogen Dominance and Female Infertility

Nowadays we are seeing more and seemingly healthy couples experience frustration when trying to conceive. Hormonal balance is a key factor. Estrogen is one of the primary female sex hormones. “Estrogen dominance” is a state when the body has too much estrogen, either from overproduction of estrogen or lack of progesterone.

 

"Keys to a smooth pregnancy" article featured in The Standard (March 2015)

Mums-to-be, did you know that what you consume during pregnancy has a huge impact on your pregnancy and your baby's health? IMI's Naturopathic Doctor Ardyce Yik has these advice.

 

Boosting Fertility, Naturally

Infertility is multi-factorial and there is no magic pill that works for everyone. While most couples generally believe that physiological problems are the cause of infertility, lifestyle and environmental factors are often overlooked. Stress is thought to play a role here, affecting the hypothalamic pituitary axis. Nutritional deficiencies, body weight, emotional distress, cigarettes, alcohol, and environmental pollutants—including heavy metals—all have an effect on a woman's ability to conceive and carry a baby to term.

 

Why is Confinement Relevant Today?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes a preventative approach and recommends that after giving birth, women should rest as much as possible, drink plenty of nourishing soups and eat certain foods.

 

Research Shows Chinese Herbal Medicine Twice as Effective for Infertility as Conventional Therapy

A study published in December 2011 issue of the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that women who received Chinese herbal medicine treatments had been twice as likely to get pregnant than women who received conventional drug treatments for infertility or IVF.

 

Research Shows Chinese Herbal Medicine Twice as Effective for Infertility as Conventional Therapy

A study published in December 2011 issue of the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that women who received Chinese herbal medicine treatments had been twice as likely to get pregnant than women who received conventional drug treatments for infertility or IVF.

 

"The Safest Cure for Pregnancy Discomfort" article featured in The Standard (October 2013)

Osteopathy treatment can help relieving discomfort and improving health and vitality for pregnant mothers.

 

A Natural Therapy for Morning Sickness

In TCM, morning sickness is due to an imbalance in the liver and/or the stomach, leading to either a mild or severe form of nausea. The main principle in treating any kind of morning sickness is to harmonize the stomach and liver, so that the nausea and vomiting can be stopped.

 

Turning Breech Babies and Preparing Mothers for Labour

Moxabustion is used for babies in breech and posterior positions. It involves burning a herbal stick directly over an acupuncture point on the little toe of both feet. This method stimulates fetal activity and with continued treatment encourages the baby to turn. The optimum time to use moxibustion is 34 weeks although it may be effective as late as 38 or 39 weeks.